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Here is a selection of Q&As from An Essex Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Let it glow for summer
Q. How do I create a fresh-faced dewy finish for my summer wedding?
A. Stephanie Farrow says: To get that dewy glow for your big day, start by applying a matt primer, rather than an illuminating one, as this will create a flawless blank canvas to work on. Next, add the glowing look by choosing a foundation with a lightweight radiant formula. Cover any blemishes with a cream concealer and blend it in well.
A peachy cream-based blusher with give a natural flushed look – but use sparingly and make sure you blend. Then, lightly dust the face with an illuminating powder. Opt for a shimmery formula, rather than glittery, to avoid looking oily.
Try a complementing glossy lip – a pop of colour always looks great at this time of year! Complete your transformation with a radiant-finish setting spray.
Q. What's a classic bridal look that I'll love in my photos for years to come?
A. Jemma Freeman says: Your wedding hair and make-up is possibly the most important beauty look you'll ever choose. Having worked with many brides, and now being a Mrs myself, I'd recommend focusing on achieving an enhanced version of yourself. You want it to still be you and your style, but with a little something extra.
The common denominators for traditional bridal looks are perfect skin and effortless curls. This look is a classic, yet it can still be interpreted in a modern way to stand the test of time. Nothing allows your natural beauty to shine through like fresh skin, beautiful brows and a soft pink lip. It means everything else can speak for itself – there's great beauty in simplicity. Warm golden tones and reflective skin are a flattering combination for most brides, and this elegant look is easy to maintain all day long. Ultimately, a look in which you feel the best version of yourself will ensure you'll always love how you look in your wedding album.
Image credit: www.rapidimageuk.com
If the shoe fits
Q. My friend has given me some amazing shoes for my wedding, but they're a little plain. How can I jazz them up?
A. Sarah Rowe says: We create beautifully embellished shoes for brides looking for something a little different. Your pre-purchased shoes can be enhanced with Swarovski crystals, intricate and delicate heel adornments or statement toe embellishments. Our designers work with most shoe styles and sizes.
As the founder of the company, I'm passionate about fashion and use the skills learned as part of my art degree to come up with dazzling creations that you'll love.
We'll have an initial consultation so we can discuss your needs, and you'll be consulted throughout the process. Within a few weeks, your dream shoes will be on their way back to you. If your bridesmaids want to get in on the action, we can make sure the colour scheme and style is matched perfectly.
Q. What make-up look do you suggest for my candlelit December wedding?
A. Leanne Perilly says: For cosy winter nuptials, I'd recommend applying rich colours to add warmth and radiance to your complexion, ensuring you look your best in pictures. If the colours are too light or soft they won't be visible in this setting.
For the eyes, try a warm palette of bronze, gold and chocolate to add depth and definition. Complement this with a warm, natural blusher. I like MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul, which has a soft shimmer for added radiance. MAC's highlighter in Soft and Gentle is great to emphasise the cheekbones and features.
Complete this look with a deep pink lip colour such as Mehr by MAC. This is a beautiful bridal colour, which will look amazing in photos for years to come. Bear in mind that the shades you use need to reflect your wedding flowers and coordinate with your overall theme. Richer colours tend to be enjoyed in winter months so this beauty look would be perfect.
Let it glow
Q. How do I prep my skin to get it looking its best in the colder months?
A. Elaine Marie Buckley says: Try to have your skincare routine in place as early as possible, but at least six weeks prior to your wedding. Your skin prep is also very important on the day to allow your make-up products to look their best.
In winter, skin can become dry and dead cells sit on its surface. It's important to exfoliate with a product such as Mario Badesco Almond & Honey Face Scrub or Manuka Doctor Polishing Facial Exfoliator. This will buff and polish the face and resurface the skin. Doing this allows a very hydrating moisturiser to penetrate the skin, which in turn makes your foundation sit beautifully. On the morning of your big day, apply a hydrating product such as Clinique Moisture Surge. Follow this with a hydrating primer; The Manuka Doctor Gold Dust Firming Serum works wonderfully to get your skin photo-ready.
Elaine Marie Buckley
Q. What dress styles and accessories would work for my winter wedding?
A. Carla Lynch says: We have so many beautiful wintry looks in the boutique. I absolutely love this gorgeous new ballgown called Laura by Mary's Bridal. With a full skirt and soft sequin finish, it's perfect for a little sparkle this season. It comes with a cap-sleeve jacket to give the dress two different looks, which is also ideal for keeping the chill off. The neckline and cut means it works for lots of body shapes and sizes.
We stock the fabulous Rainbow Club shoe collection in the boutique. It has a variety of different heel sizes, which is something to consider if you're having photos outside on the soft ground, as you may need a chunkier heel to stop your shoes sinking in.
At Dress Code Nine we offer a highly personal appointment-only service so we have the time to consider all your options to keep you warm on the day, whether that's sleeves, a small jacket or a bolero.
Get set – curl!
Q. I have naturally straight hair but I'd love a wave and some volume for our big day. How can I make this style last?
A. Caroline Jared says: To give a curl staying power, it has to be set from wet to dry or hot to cold. TIGI Bed Head Small Talk is a great product to hold shape when styling from wet to dry. Pump a 10p-size amount into your hands, rub together and push through the roots to the end of towel-dried hair. When heat is added, the product expands to thicken and add volume. Once the hair is dry and has some root lift, the best tool for the job is GHD Platinum straighteners. Many wavy styles can be created with this, but as your tresses are naturally straight I'd recommend pinning the curl after heat has been applied. This will ensure your locks have set correctly for maximum hold. When completely cool, pins can be removed and the wave is released. As each section is taken down, spray a touch of Kenra Platinum Dry Texture Spray to the root for all-night hold. If it drops, just run your fingertips through the root to enhance the volume again.
To finish, lightly pull the curl with your fingers or a Tangle Teezer, then add a spray of Fudge Skyscraper Hairspray and scrunch the ends for the perfect hold.
Sparkle all night
Q. We're having a fun festival-themed wedding – what beauty look would work for me and my bridal party?
A. Claire Scoulding says: Glitter all the way! It's fun, sparkly and great for this vibe. We go all-out for weddings and give the bridal party and guests a chance to really get stuck into the theme.
We work closely with our brides to discover their style and what their outfit will look like. We love a stunning glitter or gem chest piece. Colourful sparkly crescents around the eyes look beautiful, and for the more adventurous, we suggest a contrasting white or neon paint to make the design pop!
For bridesmaids, how about subtle glitter freckles, twinkly collar bones and sparkle garters? The men won't be left out. From sharp over-the-eye designs to glitter beards, you'll be surprised how much they get into it. Glitter bars are a great laugh and there's something for everyone. We have a range of packages that cover all aspects of the day from morning to evening.
Image credit: http://www.chloeleephoto.co.uk/
A pop of colour
Q. We're having a bright, rainbow wedding. How do I introduce this into my make-up look without it being over-the-top?
A. Leanne Perilly says: If you love vibrant tones and want to incorporate them into your big-day look, then choose one element of your face to apply it to and keep the rest neutral. You could use bright tones on your eyes while leaving your lips nude, or a bold lip could be complemented with a natural eyeshadow, lightly defined eyeliner and soft lashes. The idea is to make your eyes pop, but not to compete with your lips. This will accentuate all your features.
Applying colour on both your eyes and lips would be too much but balancing it out will ensure a perfect wedding look while including the hues you love and fitting in with your theme.
Q. How do I create a boho-chic hairstyle to fit with my rustic wedding?
A. Tara Johnston says: Short for bohemian, the boho look draws its influence from a time when hairstyles were less structured and included flowing locks, loose braids and messy up dos. Perfection is not the goal for this style, instead aim for elegantly messy, loose and relaxed to fit the rustic theme. You can apply this vibe to lots of looks. A high, unstructured bun would be great with a few loose strands and pulled edges to soften. Try adding a plait to one side.
Beach waves can be achieved with a Kenra texture spray before curling. Next apply PuffME by Design.ME to add volume and texture before brushing through with a wide-tooth comb. You'll be left with a soft curl that will last all day. Braids are very on-trend for this season. Pulling and teasing as you go will create a more undone feel.
Finish off any boho style with natural flowers to complement your venue perfectly.
A little R&R
Q. With all the stresses of wedding planning, my best friend and I need to take some time to chill. What treatments do you suggest to help us relax and get big-day ready?
A. Emma Gatt says: We offer a variety of listed and bespoke packages to calm those pre-nuptial nerves and get you looking your big-day best. I'd start with a dermaplaning facial. This is a super-effective treatment that eradicates dead skin cells on the surface of your face. It exfoliates away microscopic hairs, which can cause clogged pores, leaving your skin bright. A triple enzyme fruit peel is also great for wedding prep. Again, great for removing dead skin, it's also effective at cleansing pores. Team with a hyaluronic acid mask for hydration and LED light therapy for the production of collagen and elastin – you'll soon have some seriously glowing skin! Finally, don't forget to treat your feet with a spa pedicure. Sit back and relax in our massage chair and select your ideal shade of wedding nail polish. You can even bring in a bottle of bubbly to start the celebrations early!
Q. I don't wear much make-up so I don't know what colours suits me. How do I decide what to opt for?
A. Leanne Perilly says: A trial is the best way to determine the best tones to complement your skin, eyes and hair. There'll be certain colours that really light up your eyes and make your skin radiant, so we would experiment with these before the big day to find what works with your style and makes you feel confident.
I also like to offer my brides an alternative colour range option, so you have the choice of what you prefer. Seeing different tones on your face will tell you if they have the feel-good factor for your special day.
I'd also recommend taking into consideration the colours that'll be in your dress, flowers, décor and bridal party attire to ensure that everything flows seamlessly. It's important to make sure your eye and lip hues are complementary to your outfit and bouquet to complete your look.
Lusting after luscious locks
Q. What's the best way to add volume to my thin hair?
A. Abigail Cutter says: Thankfully, hair extensions have come a long way in recent years, making visible hairpieces a thing of the past.
I highly recommend Easilocks (easilocks.com) extensions for adding volume and bounce to your bridal style. The company boasts a wide variety of methods to suit everyone, from individual strands and tapes to wefts, clip-ins and hairpieces. Even the most discerning bride is covered.
Make sure you find a hairstylist who is comfortable working with added hair, as not all are experienced in this field. If you want to improve the thickness of your locks long-term, then it's worth investing in the individual strand or tape method as this will last through your honeymoon and beyond. Alternatively, clip-ins or hair pieces are a lower cost option if you're after a quick fix.
Window to the soul
Q. How do I make my eyes stand out in pictures?
A. Justine Warwick says: My brides often ask me to make their eyes the main focus of their big-day make-up. Start with a primer such as MAC's Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base as this will ensure your products stay put all day. I prefer to use lighter shades on the lid, like the shimmery rose gold Rigel shade from NARS, which will brighten up the whole area. Then, using a mid-tone hue, I add definition to the socket and blend the colour out to lift the eye. Adding a darker shade in the same palette can be very flattering too. Urban Decay's Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette is super-versatile and works brilliantly for weddings.
Adding a dark brown gel liner – try Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner – rather than black really enhances the eye when applied along the upper lash line. Alternatively, opt for a pencil or dark shadow to create the same effect. I'd then apply a similar shade of shadow along the lower lash line concentrating on the outer edge and working inwards.
Finish with some mascara and individual lashes to make your eyes pop in photographs.
Keep it curly
Q. How do I tame my curly locks for my wedding?
A. Alexandra Hall says: If you're blessed with amazing, naturally curly hair, then the style in this picture is made for you. Effortlessly romantic with an injection of relaxed glamour, it's the perfect look in which to embrace your gorgeous mane.
Many curly-haired brides are terrified of the humidity associated with summer weddings, or if you're planning seaside nuptials. A relaxed up do is ideal to tame your hair and keep it in place all day. Combine this soft style with a flower garland, which is the perfect accessory for a laid-back boho bridal look.
Remember, your natural tresses are beautiful, so put away the straighteners and love your curls!
Image credit: https://ajg-photography.co.uk
Q. I'm set to tie the knot in March and would love to incorporate fresh flowers into my wedding-day hair do. What style would you recommend for my thick locks?
A. Dani White says: Fresh flowers incorporated into tresses always adds something really special to the bridal look and blooms go really well with braids and twists.
Add grips to the stems and hide them within the hair, this will secure them all day. A half-up style, set into romantic waves would look beautiful and show off your luscious locks.
You also have the option of having your hair pulled back away from your face, or have a few tendrils kept out to frame the brow for a softer look.
A little tip when picking the type of flowers is, less is more, and be careful as blooms always seem bigger in your hair than when you are holding them in front of you!
Q. I've just gone from blonde to brunette in preparation for my wedding. However, years of bleaching has made my hair brittle and dry, what treatments would you recommend to get my locks looking their best for my big day?
A. The team at Reed Hair says: Changing from blonde to brunette can be a long process as you will have to treat tresses carefully due to breakage, overlapping of bleach, or high peroxide levels. Our main advice is to visit your stylist 12-months prior to the big day for a bridal consultation. Our first step would be to ensure a WellaPlex Treatment is included, as this will keep internal bonds strong during application of the dye and will help to lock in the colour molecule. In-between your appointments we'd recommend a treatment that would build the internal structure and also help with growth. Invest in a home-care regime as what you do on an everyday basis is a key element to luscious locks.
Here are a few additional tips for brides-to-be;
- Touch up every six weeks to reduce banding and colour build-up.
- Avoid using heated tools.
- Use a detangle brush.
- Keep long hair plaited at night.
- Protect tresses in the sun.
- Do not use elastic bands for hair ties.
The team at Reed Hair
Natural beauty al fresco
Q. My partner and I have planned an al fresco wedding this April and I wanted a delicate make-up look to suit my olive skin tone. What would you suggest?
A. Leanne Perilly says: For this setting I'd recommend a soft natural look with a dewy foundation base. Glo Skin Beauty Luminous liquid foundation or Bobbi Brown Skin foundation, both even out the skin tone and add radiance. They will look beautifully flawless in natural day light as they also contain SPF to protect your face - Bobbi Brown, is well-known for its selection of bases for an olive complexion.
To accompany naturally flawless skin, I'd apply beautiful colours to complement your eyes such as rose gold and bronze and add a little shimmer to make your eyes sparkle. I'd then apply softly smudged eyeliner for intensity and keep the eyeshadow light avoiding dark or smoky looks which maybe too heavy.
Use a soft pink, nude or rose gold lip colour to finish; I'd recommend Mehr or Velvet Teddy both by MAC Cosmetics with a light gloss over the top.
Set with NYX Cosmetics Dewy setting spray to ensure your make-up stays in place beautifully for the duration of your celebrations without the need for touch ups.
Q. I love the smoky eye look and it's my go-to when doing my own make-up for a night out. How can I glam this up for my bridal look?
A. Justine Warwick says: I suggest light, neutral colours on the lid, there are some beautiful golds and rose golds that make for a striking bridal look. Only use darker shades for definition underneath and at the outer edge of the eye. Use a mid-tone matte colour in the socket and blend out. Avoid using dark colours over the entire eye area as this can look too heavy during the day and ideally you need a style to last morning to evening.
Apply using a damp brush as this can really intensify the pigment, bringing more glamour to the look. You may also wish to add a little sparkle shadow over the top of this for an added touch of glitz, however, ensure the hues are beautifully blended to avoid any harsh edges. Using a long-lasting eye pencil, smudge along the lashline for a flattering finish.
Most importantly, practice using different products and shades until you're confident in your chosen look. A make-up lesson with a professional may help with product selection and techniques.
Bride & beautiful
Q. I really love the barely-there make-up style but I'm struggling to find nude colours to suit my skin tone. What would you advise?
A. Dawn Taylor says: This is definitely a trend that's gathering popularity in 2019 with a lot of my brides wanting to pare down their look and go for a more natural finish. This is something a professional will be able to help you with, however, here, are a couple of easy steps to follow:
- In natural light, hold your hand out with your palm facing up so you can see your veins. If the predominant colour is blue and purple then you have a cool tone, if they appear green then you have a warm one. If you can't make out a shade then you are more likely to have a neutral complexion.
- Once you have worked out your complexion hues, you can then choose a suitable nude. A really great product is the Make-Up Forever HD Foundation range as they categorise their products into tonal colours making it easier to find the perfect match. Once you've applied the correct shade, buff over with one of my favourite products, Charlotte Tilbury's Flawless Filter which gives a beautiful fresh glow.
- Stick to beige and pink lipsticks for cool tones, and peach and gold for warmer hues. If your complexion is medium or dark, than a toffee or caramel shade will look good and dark tones should opt for a deeper chocolate or mocha shade in a crème formula. I have also often mixed a matte bronzing powder with a gloss to create the perfect nude lip for my brides, and with the huge array of shades available there will always be one to suit.
- For your cheeks, choose a pressed powder a couple of shades darker than your complexion and apply along the cheekbone and up onto the temple. You could also do the same with your eyes by blending the same colour over the lid and then slightly more intensified into the crease. I also love to use Zoeva Blush palette in Nude Spectrum and have used this on both – it's gorgeous!
- Finish off with a spritz of setting spray. A good go-to is Urban Decay All Nighter, or if you want a little more glow the Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray is another favourite of mine.
Grooming to perfection
Q. It's important look and feel fabulous on your big day, and not only does this stands for the bride, but for the groom too. Men are becoming more fashion conscious and are increasingly embracing grooming trends and taking better care of themselves. Jim Shaw, Owner of Essensuals Toni & Guy Billericay, discusses his top grooming tips for men who want to look their best on their wedding...
A. Jim Shaw says: - Like a bride arranges a consultation to discuss her bridal hair style, a groom should do the same. This is extremely important as he should talk to his stylist about what style he'd like to go for and if it's achievable. The barber will also be able to advise if this will complement your attire on the day or if it's a trend that is likely to go out of fashion that may look dated in your photos. I always advise clients to stick with a classic style as they tend to go the distance.
- Even after you leave the salon it's important to keep your hair clean and in good condition. Speak with your barber who will be able to advise you on your hair type and what shampoo and conditioner will work best for you.
- It's also important to care for your facial hair! Be sure to trim your beard and nose hair weekly in the run up to your nuptials and use a specialist oil daily to keep your skin and beard hydrated.
- A clean shave is a great treatment to book before saying 'I do'. I always advise scheduling this the day before you tie the knot, which will provide you with a neat and sharp finish. Hot towel shaves are one of my favourite methods and are ideal for men who prefer a neatly groomed face.
- Lastly, always consider the products that you'll be using on the day and the finish you want to have. If you like a sleek, slicked back look, gels and serums are great. Alternatively, if you're looking for an effortless, texturised style, salt sprays are your best option. If you need more information on what products will work best for you and the look you want to achieve, speak to your hairdresser about this when you go in for your appointment. They'll be able to provide you with recommendations and may also have some fantastic products in the salon that would be perfect for you.
Jim Shaw, Essensuals Toni & Guy Billericay
From day to night
Q. My husband-to-be and I are set to tie the knot in a glamorous themed big day. I want quite a simple look during the day that can be vamped up for the evening do – what would you suggest?
A. Abi Cutter says: Explain to your make-up artist at your trial that you're hoping to add some extra glamour in the evening and require a versatile look that you can add a little va-va-voom too! This could be as simple as changing your lipstick or falsies.
Opting for strip lashes on your wedding day will allow you to make a simple change by swapping them in the evening for a fuller, heavier pair. There are so many styles on the market, with wispy and fluffy ones being particularly popular. Your lips can be taken from a barely there nude during your 'I dos', to a darker pink. Or if you're feeling brave go for a dramatic red pout.
These changes can easily be done without affecting any of the surrounding make-up, plus the products are small enough to be carried in a bridesmaid's clutch bag. One of your best girls who is confident with cosmetics can do these changes for you. Or alternatively, speak with your make-up artist – for an extra charge they'll return in the evening to do any touch-ups you require.
Abi Cutter, Lipstick & Locks, 07488 306 347